Elves take over Worthing seafront – again!

November 2023

We had the most fantastic turnout for our Mental Elf 5k fun run on Worthing seafront on Sunday. It was a super-fun event with some great elf costumes, outstanding effort from all our runners and walkers and a brilliant celebrity appearance from Sally Gunnell OBE!

Nearly 200 people took part in Mental Elf – runners and walkers of all abilities and all ages. Our CEO Kerrin Page opened the event and welcomed and thanked everyone for being there, before handing over to Sally Gunnell OBE, the only woman to hold World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth gold medals at the same time. What an inspiration for all our runners and walkers!

Everyone then headed over for an energetic warm-up with local gym, Intent91, before Sally did the countdown and started the race.

The course followed the same route as Worthing parkrun, turning around at Marine Parade after the first 2.5km to return to the finish line at Beach House Gardens. Participants had some great support and encouragement en route from our trustee and town crier, Bob Smytherman, as well as cheers from members of the public.

As runners and walkers came through the finish line, we had inspiring live music from Spring into Soul Gospel Choir and the Drumheads Samba Band, which really added to the festive atmosphere.

The event finished up with Kerrin presenting prizes for the top three male runners (1. Roger Bryant; 2. Gary Woolven; and 3. Steve Birch – well done guys!) and the top three female runners (1. Mae Elvey; 2. Jennie Thorne; and 3. Sarah Thomas – congratulations!). The prize for best dressed elf went to Rowan Watson-Ryan.

It was our most successful and uplifting fundraising event to date – with a great community turnout, and goodwill and festive cheer in abundance!

Carrie Howell, our community fundraising lead, said: “Mental Elf is not only a great opportunity to raise much-needed funds for our work, but it’s a chance to spread awareness about mental health generally and to ensure that people know that West Sussex Mind is here to support local people when they need us most.

“There was a great community atmosphere – with our biggest runner and walker turnout yet – so we thank everyone who took part, as well as our amazing volunteers, without whom we couldn’t run the event. We can’t wait to do Mental Elf even bigger and better next year!”

The thank yous!

Huge thanks to all our runners and walkers, who took part, and to our staff and volunteers who made it happen. Thanks to Aspire Residential and South Downs Water for sponsoring Mental Elf, Intent91 for the warm-up, Bolt Espresso for providing hot drinks, Sompting and Lancing Lions for bringing their Santa sleigh – and Spring into Soul Gospel Choir and Drumheads Samba for their wonderful live music. Thanks, too, to RUN shop for donating prizes for our top fastest three runners, to all the businesses who donated prizes for our Christmas raffle, to PPL and PRS for supplying our music licence and to World of Books for supplying marshals.

A special thank you goes to Sally Gunnell OBE, who we were honoured to welcome to our event, and who brought a great sense of fun and motivational powers to all our runners and walkers.

What an event! We can’t wait to do it all again next year. Ah, and did we mention that ITV News Meridian came to film it?